For “Seein’ Red,” his fourth No. 1 song as an artist on Broken Bow Records, Dustin Lynch received a blessing from Jason Aldean band members, and label staff who are ready to kick him to the next level.
“[Dustin] is a superstar,” said “Seein’ Red” songwriter and Aldean guitarist since 1999, Kurt Allison. “I don’t know if you’ve seen him live, but this guy is on the cusp of doing stadiums and arenas himself.”
“If you haven’t seen Dustin on the road, I would seriously suggest it,” said another co-writer and Aldean bassist since 1998, Tully Kennedy. “He blew us away. His band is unreal.”
To celebrate the No. 1 success, a three-PRO gathering was held on May 30 at Nashville’s Lower Broadway bar, The Stage.
“[The Stage] is where it all began for me,” said Lynch. “In college when I turned 21 I came down here…and got to meet Dierks Bentley for the first time. I learned the art of entertaining. It’s a pain in the butt to get parked, but it means the world to my band and crew, to bring it home [in a way] and celebrate where it all began for us.”
The gathering honored three of the writer’s first No. 1 and one writer’s 10th No. 1.
BMI’s Bradley Collins welcomed attendees to the celebration on behalf of their sponsor Pinnacle Bank, which was represented by Cooper Samuels. Collins remarked on Kennedy and honored him with his No. 1 guitar in honor of his first. BMI also represents Lynch, whose “Small Town Boy” is already top 25.
ASCAP’s Mike Sistad offered remarks on behalf of Allison, who also is a co-writer on Aldean’s latest single and album title track, “They Don’t Know.” Allison also co-produced records for Thompson Square and Parmalee as part of NV.
“Juli [Newton Griffith] could have dropped me a number of times on the option,” said a grateful Allison while thanking his team. “She didn’t, and I thank you…Thank you to my wife Kelly for putting up with me. When we’re gone a lot and when we’re home, we write.”
Sistad continued to offer remarks on Sever, who signed his publishing deal in 2009 with John McBride and his wife Martina’s Little Champion Music. Further, Sistad honored producer Mickey Jack Cones on his 8th No. 1 title.
Will Overton of Warner/Chappell honored Sever and offered “Seein’ Red” playing cards for everyone. McBride also commented about he and his wife’s belief in Sever.
“Mom and dad, thank you for letting me dream,” said Sever to his parents in the audience. “Anybody out here that’s a writer, keep believing in it. Fifteen years it took me to get this hit, and it was worth every single year.”
SESAC’s Shannan Hatch commented on the PRO’s recent signing, and fourth songwriter on “Seein’ Red,” Steve Bogard, on behalf of Franklin Synergy Bank. Bogard, also a songwriter advocate on Capitol Hill, has had a No. 1 hit in each decade for the past four decades with four Grammy nominations to his name.
“More than anything, this is about people who believe in you,” remarked Bogard of the symbiotic nature of the music industry. “We trust our lives to people who believe in us. We survive because people believe in us—[like with] the promotion team at BBR, Jon Loba, or Bart Herbison and Jennifer at NSAI, and my wife. We moved here 35 years ago…Nashville believes in me, and I believe in Nashville.”
Other than Sever, Magic Mustang’s Juli Newton Griffith represented all the songwriters on the stage, offering plaques to all. Exec. VP of BBR Music Group, Jon Loba noted the record kept it “all in the family.” Both executives welcomed a slew of top promo staff to the stage to recognize their efforts. Kos Weaver, “the man who started the conversation in BMG and Broken Bow,” was additionally welcomed by Loba to represent his label’s new partnership.
“I want to say a huge thank you to my brother Dustin Lynch,” concluded Loba. “Probably the greatest gift he gives me—outside of the music, his work eithic and dedication to artistry—is trust. It seemed like 90 percent of the town wanted Dustin to release a different song for the first single. It was intense and they lobbied him for months. Like he did many times before, I don’t know if he believed it, but he trusted us. I can’t tell you how much that means to us—it makes us want to lay down in the road for you.”
A charismatic Cones took the mic too, jokingly confessing all his royalties have been spent on celebratory tequila shots over the years. Cones continued the tradition by buying a round of shots for the whole gathering, minus the newest addition to his family of course. “I have the best, most important No. 1 of my life here, and he’s 11 weeks old tomorrow,” said a teary-eyed Cones in thanking his family. “Jackson Daniel Cones is my first No. 1…
“Last but not least, [thank you, Dustin]. I’ve worked with a lot of artists, and you are the most talented, focused, hard-working, driven, foreseeing artists I’ve ever worked with. That’s what makes me want to stay in the studio working 20 hours a night,7 days a week. I’ve worked with some artists who don’t support their own careers like that. They could learn from you.”
“Before I forget—Pete, Neil, Steve, JT—my management team at L3, I’ve forgotten to thank you probably the last three times I’ve been up here,” Lynch began his remarks. “Just so you know Jason [Sever] is a part of the next record in a big way. He is killin’ it. On top of ‘Seein’ Red,’ he’s got some more songs that are just as good or better in my opinion, so I’m excited about that. Tully and Kurt, thank you for showing me how to rock out on stage and put on a live show. These two, Rich as well changed the game of live county music shows. I moved to Nashville to be a songwriter like this dude. ‘Bogie’ was my first introduction to country music. Early on, I think my vision was what he was telling me my vision was. It’s such a beautiful thing to be a part of your tenth. To, Mickey, we’re on fire. The fire’s still burning, and we’re cooking in the studio and it’s burning hot.”
Lynch will fill those expectations on the road this year. He’ll turn up the heat on tour this summer with Brad Paisley before headline his own outing this fall. Not to mention, his clothing brand Stay Country is available online while that full length, third studio album is expected soon.
Also at the No. 1 party were Brandi Simms from CMA and CRB’s Holly Lane to honor the creative forces behind “Seein’ Red.”